Stephen, it seems to me you’re doing just fine with what you call my “non-answers’ – you’ve had plenty to say about them! I appreciate that we can go at each other hard, isn’t that your favorite Kenneth Burke phrase – “sparring without parting”?
I honestly don’t know what you mean by an answer about my views on “human nature” that you “can use.” Use for what? How? Are we even talking about/trying to get to the same thing? My students and I have been talking about how truth becomes “problematic” once one really engages others and has to take into account their perspectives, experience, bases of knowledge…what “truth” do you want to pin down? What kind of knowledge are you trying to generate? Or are you just yanking my chain? 🙂
“In petitioning you about human nature, I am only asking for a story. In your non-answer, I fear you are trying to avoid a thing.”
Maybe. I’d like to avoid “the thing” of being targeted as “the bad guy” because I’m willing to say publicly what many people say privately.
My story is that I’m freaking lonely and depressed and damn near suicidal more often than not. But I don’t want to “give in” to that, so I keep acting, doing, trying to engage and hoping for some reciprocal action. Thanks for giving me some. 🙂
My story is that we’re always told “now isn’t the time or the place” to try to change things (hints of Leda’s last response, there – and I know its not for lack of trying!). This isn’t “the venue” to enact democracy. This isn’t the “right way” to address prejudice or discrimination or disrespect or whatever DEAL is going down which is HURTING someone. It all translates into…..there’s never gonna BE a “right” time or “right” place to do it. Only here and now. What do I think about human nature? It’s intended to be impulsive, spontaneous, joyful. It’s capable of immense connection, empathy, and love. But we warp those potentials – well. Let me not generalize. They have been warped in my life and in the lives of many whom I love, respect, and desire to have as friends.
“I appreciate the location of fear in the equation, that only answers the